California’s state water project allocation doubles

California's reservoirs are in good shape
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  • The 2024 allocation for the California State Water Project (SWP) increased to 30% of requested supplies.
  • Winter storms bolstered snowpack and reservoirs, allowing for the increase.
  • Challenges in moving water remain due to protections for endangered fish species.
  • The Department of Water Resources prioritizes water system adaptation with projects like Delta Conveyance.

March 26, 2024 — California’s water outlook got a boost on Friday as the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced a significant increase in projected deliveriesOpens in a new tab. from the State Water Project (SWP). The allocation forecast for 2024 has doubled to 30% of requested supplies, up from the 15% announced in February.

This positive shift is thanks to a healthier snowpack and improved reservoir storage from recent winter storms. The SWP is a crucial infrastructure network for 29 public water agencies serving 27 million Californians.

California’s reservoirs remain in good shape thanks to last year’s strong winter storms. Statewide, reservoirs are at 115 percent of average for this time of year, with Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s largest reservoir, at 125 percent of average and 86 percent of capacity.

“DWR continues to take proactive measures and use the best available science to operate our water storage and delivery system to balance water supply needs while protecting native fish species,” said DWR Director Karla NemethOpens in a new tab..

However, challenges persist. Restrictions to protect endangered fish species limit the SWP’s ability to move water south. DWR is focused on adapting to climate change with projects like the Delta Conveyance Project, which would improve the water system’s flexibility during high flow events while safeguarding fish.

DWR also emphasizes investment in groundwater recharge, new reservoirs, and technologies like desalination and stormwater capture. These efforts are key to building a more resilient water future for the state.

Image from CA Department of Water Resources News ReleaseOpens in a new tab.: Drone view of water levels at the Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville on Jan. 30, 2024. On this date, the water storage was 77 percent of the total capacity.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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